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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: To stay or not to stay?

Vieraskieliset / In-english
9.11.2019 6.13

I wake up. It is half past se­ven. It is a lo­ve­ly mor­ning, and the sun is shi­ning. I quick­ly get up, step on the cool floor, and go to col­lect the mor­ning pa­per from the mail­box. I can still sen­se the strong, eart­hy smell of the night. The noi­se of traf­fic tel­ls me that the town is wa­king up and pe­op­le are going to work. I make cof­fee and open the pa­per. There is no hur­ry. Or, ac­tu­al­ly, there would be no hur­ry, but I find it hard to get rid of my im­pa­tient na­tu­re.

I en­joy being ab­le to start my day by re­a­ding the pa­per. But, of cour­se, that is not pos­sib­le. The brow­nish grey pile of fur me­ows and jumps light­ly on the tab­le. He stretc­hes him­self with evi­dent en­jo­y­ment and set­t­les down im­pe­ri­ous­ly on my pa­per, as if to say, go ahe­ad now and read yo­ur news. I brush off the hairs and lift his fur­ry tail to get even a glimp­se of the main news. The cat pur­rs, and I do not re­al­ly want to push him away. Would this be a sui­tab­le un­hur­ried mo­ment to pet and scratch him? That’s what he is wai­ting for, any­way.

What I wrote abo­ve is my idea of what it would be like to wake up on the first day of my re­ti­re­ment. Would I have this ex­pe­rien­ce on the first of Au­gust this ye­ar?

For two ye­ars I have been weig­hing the pros and cons of re­ti­re­ment. I have tried to ima­gi­ne the mor­nings with no need to go anyw­he­re, the days wit­hout the rhythm of class sche­du­les and break ti­mes.

The idea of no dai­ly rhythm has see­med a bit frigh­te­ning. What if I can­not find anyt­hing me­a­ning­ful to do? What if I just drift from mor­ning to night, from one day to the next, ye­ar af­ter ye­ar wit­hout ac­comp­lis­hing anyt­hing? If I can­not find chal­len­ges, will my brain lose its keen­ness and my thin­king slow down? While pon­de­ring about all this, I have pra­yed that God would show me the way, be­cau­se I do not know it my­self.

Up till now it has see­med good to go on wor­king, but as the spring we­ars on, I be­gin to feel dif­fe­rent­ly. It would seem a re­lief not to need to start yet anot­her aca­de­mic ye­ar and to hang on to the cons­tant­ly chan­ging school prac­ti­ces. Flip­ped le­ar­ning, mul­ti­dis­cip­li­na­ry mo­du­les, as­ses­s­ment dis­cus­si­ons, phe­no­me­non-ba­sed le­ar­ning – in­te­res­ting new trends, but how can I find time to le­arn about them all?

But then again, I am af­raid I will reg­ress and lag be­hind if I re­ti­re. I will on­ly use the old, fa­mi­li­ar ap­ps, unab­le to up­da­te those I have in my com­pu­ter and phone. I have al­re­a­dy lost touch with the so­ci­al me­dia lan­gu­a­ge, es­pe­ci­al­ly its ab­b­re­vi­a­ti­ons. But no prob­lem, let the kids laugh at me. And I will cer­tain­ly miss the jo­king in the te­ac­hers’ room, the great mo­ments I have with the stu­dents, and the ins­pi­ring trai­ning cour­ses.

When I have sha­red my con­cerns about fin­ding me­a­ning­ful ac­ti­vi­ties for my re­ti­re­ment, the friends who are al­re­a­dy re­ti­red have gi­ven me good ad­vi­ce. No need to wor­ry, they tell me, be­cau­se re­ti­red pe­op­le are al­wa­ys busy. One of them said that is pro­bab­ly due to the coup­le of hours one needs in the mor­ning to won­der what to do. Then it is al­most lunch time, and af­ter that there is not much of the day left.

Anot­her friend has joi­ned a re­ti­rees’ or­ga­ni­za­ti­on and has been as­ked to ser­ve as a sup­port per­son: to ac­com­pa­ny old pe­op­le for me­di­cal ap­point­ments or te­ac­hing com­pu­ter skil­ls to se­ni­ors. Some have ac­cep­ted po­si­ti­ons of trust in so­cie­ty. Many re­ti­red te­ac­hers say they are avai­lab­le for sub­bing. A new op­por­tu­ni­ty is the rau­ha­nyh­dis­tys re­sour­ce bank, where you can help in­di­vi­du­als and fa­mi­lies, or even ser­ve as a subs­ti­tu­te gran­ny for a fa­mi­ly.

The hu­man life span be­gins at birth, re­ac­hes its ze­nith, and then dec­li­nes in­to old age. Ine­vi­tab­ly, we be­gin to lose our strength, walk more slow­ly, suf­fer from in­fir­mi­ties, and feel fa­ti­gue. When that hap­pens, we should slow down and pau­se, ex­pe­rien­ce free­dom of thought. Trust that life can be me­a­ning­ful even in old age. There will be more time to go on ca­no­eing trips, en­joy na­tu­re and read. I gu­ess I would al­so like to study so­met­hing new.

The fact is that when you re­ti­re, you are a step clo­ser to na­tu­ral de­ath, which is a frigh­te­ning thought. But when you are fi­nal­ly very ti­red and fra­gi­le, it will be a re­lief to le­a­ve the res­pon­si­bi­li­ty for eve­ryt­hing to ot­hers. It is com­for­ting to think about the end of our tem­po­ral life, the eter­nal life that will fol­low, and the rest in Ab­ra­ham’s bo­som.

The ans­wer to the qu­es­ti­on in the tit­le will be gi­ven in March. I have pro­mi­sed to let the prin­ci­pal know about my re­ti­re­ment plans then.

Text: Au­lik­ki Pii­rai­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

You will find the ori­gi­nal fin­nish blog post here.


Kos­kaan en ota hä­nel­tä pois ar­mo­a­ni, mi­nun liit­to­ni kes­tää hor­ju­mat­ta. Ps. 89:29

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